Size Does Matter! So Does Location.

Tattoo Woman

Did we get your attention? Hope so!

In our six-part installment series, we have been discussing the ART of selecting and receiving the right tattoo. Our criteria so far includes Tattoo design, the skill of the tattoo artist, and most recently – choosing the right shop. Today’s segment is going to cover the importance of size and location of your tattoo. Believe it or not, size does matter!

How big do you want your tattoo to be?

Most Tattoo newbies spend a lot of deciding on the right tattoo. They tend to start with choosing a skilled artist, finding the right shop and saving up enough cash to pay for their design. However, once they have conducted their research and the time comes to sit down for that first tattoo – most draw a blank when asked, “How big do you want this to be?”
For reasons unknown, the size of the tattoo is often overlooked when deciding on a tattoo. Many wrongly assume that the tattoo artist is supposed to determine the size of a tattoo. In reality, the size of a tattoo should be determined by the design, the location, and the expressed desire of the person receiving the tattoo.

My Tattoo is Too Small

Many first timers of the tattoo arena are fearful of being burdened with an enormous tattoo that they can’t easily hide, should they not like it. The idea of being permanently inked with a gigantic and permanent picture may result in a customer electing for a smaller, more obscure tattoo. Oftentimes, many wish they had not elected for the smaller tattoo. Once the healing has occurred and the bold and beautiful colors start coming through, many regret their tattoo was not larger.

My Tattoo is Too Large

On the other hand, some tattoo enthusiasts find themselves saddled with huge tattoos that just didn’t quite achieve what they had expected. Such individuals don’t necessarily mind having a large tattoo; they just wish it looked better. This can often happen when a tattoo design is requested to be enlarged, and it just does not quite come out as imagined.

Too big or not too big, that is the question.

In many cases, these sort of tattoo disasters can be avoided by open communication between the artist and the customer. A skilled tattoo artist can make an immediate determination if a particular tattoo design is going to look ridiculous. An even more skilled artist will point out the concerns in a professional and non-condescending manner. There have been times when the tattoo artist’s advice is ignored. So why not experiment?  Get a henna version of the tattoo you are seeking and see what you think. You can’t go wrong in this scenario.

Location, location, location.

The rule of location applies as much to your tattoo as it does to real estate. In real estate, the importance of location directly impacts the value of any property. The same consideration should be given to your tattoo. As in buying a home, there are a  number of considerations that should be weighed.
  • Is the tattoo for your benefit, or others?
  • Which location on your body are deemed “allowable” for your career?
  • How will it go with what you wear, how will it look on your body type?
  • What are your attractive attributes that you wish to enhance or negative attributes you wish to hide?
  • What style of tattoo best matches your personality?
If you have ugly feet, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to them. If you have a nice firm stomach, you better have the discipline to keep your stomach firm or your tattoo will sag along with your stomach. This will ultimately make the tattoo and your stomach look worse!  (We highly recommend young women who have not had children – avoid tattoos surrounding the belly button). If you have an unsightly scar you’ve wanted to cover up, what better way than a really great tattoo?

Location and size directly correlate to one another.

Size and detail are usually the first considerations of your tattoo placement. If you are considering a larger tattoo, we highly recommend placing such a tattoo on a larger portion of your body. Does it have a lot of fine details such as swirls or shading that won’t be visible if the art has to be scaled down? If so, the back, the chest, and the thigh region are better for larger and more detailed tattoos.

For very small, simple designs, you may prefer a more whimsical placement. A small tattoo may lose impact if you choose a broad, empty area of skin, but an unexpected word or doodle offers an almost “treasure hunt” appeal to your body. Try places such as behind the ear, around a finger, or behind the joint of your ankle.

If you have a low pain tolerance or if this is your first tattoo, you may want to choose a simple design, and place it in an area that has few nerve endings and will take ink well. Backs, shoulders and upper arms are favored locations for such instances.

Stop by and see Jims Tattoo!

We are happy to cover the importance of size and location as we collaborate on your first or next tattoo design.

3 comments on “Size Does Matter! So Does Location.

  1. I really like what you said choosing a good place for a small tattoo. I agree that a tiny design would look out of place on a big area, such as your back. A spot like your finger or ankle would be a much better choice! I have some text along my ribs, and I’m wondering if a small design would look nice right below it. If they look strange together, I might get it done behind my ear instead.

    1. TattooAdmin says:

      Hey Kari – this would be one of those situations that it would make sense to come in and show one of our artists. If you are not in the Seabrook, NH area – then we highly recommend that you visit a tattoo shop in your area to look at your current design and how to best add to it.

  2. I like that you mention how the design, location, and person’s desire should determine the size of a tattoo. If you are unsure of the location or size, it would probably be a good idea to talk to the tattoo artist to see what they recommend for the design you want. When choosing your artist, it would probably be a good idea to find one that is skilled and easy to communicate with, so they can provide you with advice and you can make sure they understand what you want.

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